Remembering Joginder, popular actor-filmmaker-producer of the 70s and mid-80s, on his 8th death anniversary.

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Remembering Joginder, popular actor-filmmaker-producer of the 70s and mid-80s, on his 8th death anniversary.

Joginder (real name Joginder Shelly) was an actor, director, producer, writer, singer, songwriter, and distributor. Two Hindi films produced–directed–written–acted–distributed by him were “Super Hits” — Bindiya aur Bandook and Ranga Khush. (In Indian cinema any film which runs for over 50 weeks continuously is classified as “Super Hit.”) He successfully instituted a plagiarism suit against the producers of one of India’s greatest films Sholay for substantially copying his work. The character Ranga Khush was a household name in India in the 1970s, especially among little children who copied his maniacal laugh and rolling eyeballs, and favourably compares with Gabbar Singh who copied him. The film Ranga Khush was a spinoff from Joginder’s two-word dialogue in Bindiya aur Bandook (known internationally as “The girl with the gun”).

He was often placed on lists of “worst movie directors”, a fan-generated title he shared with Ed Wood. In common with Wood, Joginder made a run of cheap and poorly produced films, now humorously celebrated for their unsophisticated special effects, large amounts of ill-fitting stock footage, idiosyncratic dialogue, eccentric casts and outlandish plot elements, although his flair for showmanship gave his projects at least a modicum of commercial success.

His commercial acumen came to the fore when he dared to release his houseful sequel Bindiya aur Bandook-2 against J.P. Dutta’s megabudget LOC which flopped. The popular song “Main Hoon Botal Band Sharab” had audiences dancing in the aisles whenever it came on the screen.

Joginder acknowledged that he had no plans to enter mainstream cinema. His “Jhuggie-Jhopdi” (slum) audiences gave him fame and success.

Joginder’s film Ranga Khush was repeatedly featured in debates in India’s upper house of Parliament, the Rajya Sabha, for its extended rape sequences and insults to religious deities of all faiths.

Like Aamir Khan and Guru Dutt, he was often shy in claiming directorial credit for his hit films which were usually attributed to industry veteran Shibu Mitra.

A trained pilot, he had also worked with late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi before turning actor.

In conclusion, a tribute from a fan “the world has two kinds of people — those who have watched ‘Ranga Khush’ and others who lead unfulfilled lives”

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Celebrating Cinema

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